With South Yorkshire once more subject to heightened restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, senior officers at South Yorkshire Police wish to send a further message of support and reassurance to individuals who may be experiencing domestic abuse.
“We know that for anyone who is suffering domestic abuse, the introduction of heightened restrictions once more in South Yorkshire may be causing increased anxiety and distress,” says Superintendent Shelley Hemsley.
“It is an incredibly challenging time for all of us, but for those men, women and children who are victims of abuse, the return to a more restricted way of life due to the ongoing pandemic may mean they are once more spending longer periods of time with their abuser at home, isolated from friends and family to talk to.
“It is to those people I wish to say, please remember you are not alone. If you are experiencing abuse or violence at home, if you feel you have nowhere to turn and nobody to talk to, know that we are here for you. Police and partner agencies are available 24/7 to provide whatever help and support you may need.”
There are many types of domestic abuse. They include:
- Physical violence
- Making threats towards someone or people they care about
- Psychological abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Controlling someone’s money or stopping access to it
- Controlling where someone goes and when, and who they talk to
- Honour based abuse
Right now, perpetrators of domestic abuse may be taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic and heightened restrictions by:
- Trying to stop someone leaving the house (South Yorkshire is currently at COVID Alert Tier 2 – High, which means you cannot meet socially with anyone outside your household/support bubble at any indoor venue. Please visit https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus for the latest guidance from the government)
- Trying to stop someone having contact with friends or family via phone, text or video messaging – all of which are safe to do.
Supt Hemsley added: “None of this behaviour is okay and can have a significant impact on a victim’s emotional, physical and mental wellbeing. Now, more than ever, we’re being asked to look after one another and to take care of those vulnerable members of our community who may need more help and support during this time.
“Our commitment to protecting victims of domestic abuse is unwavering and I’d urge anyone who has concerns to please make contact with either police or one of the many support agencies or charities we work closely alongside.”
If you wish to report domestic abuse, you can call police on 101. If you feel unable to make a call, you can report domestic abuse online via a dedicated online portal here - https://www.reportingcrime.uk/SYPDA/
If your life is in danger, please call 999. If you can’t speak, the operator will ask you to follow their instructions. This may mean they ask you to cough or press a button on the keypad, so they know you’re there and unable to speak. They will then ask you to press ‘55’ – this is the Silent Solution, and alerts the call handler that you are in an emergency situation. They will then listen to what they can hear in the background and make an assessment about the response you require.
Here are some helpline numbers for each of the districts in South Yorkshire:
- Barnsley Independent Domestic Abuse Service – 03000 110 110
- Doncaster Domestic Abuse Helpline – 01302 737080
- Rotherham Rise – 0330 202 0571
- Sheffield Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0808 808 2241
A number of national helplines and organisations are also there for you. You can contact:
- Women’s Aid, who hold a web chat between 10am and noon Monday to Friday
- 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0808 2000 247
- Mankind Initiative – for male victims of domestic abuse, their helpline 01823 334 244 is available Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm
- Galop – LGBT+ anti-violence charity who can be contacted Monday to Friday between 10am and 5pm on 0800 999 5428. You can also make referrals online.
- Karma Nirvana – support line available Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm on 0800 599 9247.
More information about domestic abuse is available on our website – https://www.southyorks.police.uk/find-out/advice-for-victims/domestic-abuse/